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Advanced, affordable technology, dynamic design and premium-class attention to detail are key qualities that define the new Nissan Note. Marking the start of an exciting new Nissan product drive, the new Note has been designed and engineered to create a bold new B-segment competitor.
First shown at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and launched across Europe from autumn 2013, the new Nissan Note not only builds on the strengths of its predecessor . it also utilises ideas and engineering innovations showcased on Nissan's ground-breaking Juke and Qashqai models. With a focus on innovation and accessible technology, the new Note delivers a fully rounded ownership experience that perfectly meets the demands and expectations of customers bored with the conventions, gimmicks and limitations of many top selling small cars.
The new Note marks a key milestone in the development of Nissan's small car range. Now offering everything B-segment buyers want and more, Nissan Note brings fresh ideas and a raft of useful, usable technologies to an even broader audience.
Like the Juke and Qashqai, the Note is the result of a design and engineering programme that has seen every key element developed and perfected for European buyers. Engineering work carried out at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) in both the UK and Spain has resulted a car that exceeds sector standards, and brings bold new ideas to the sector. Completing the Note's European credentials is a new production line at Nissan's UK plant in Sunderland. The result of a €147.500 investment in new production facilities, the Note is built alongside the Juke and Qashqai.
Nissan has become synonymous with the development of usable and purposeful day-to-day technology - believing that premium features shouldn't be reserved for prestige models at inflated prices. The new Note takes this bold philosophy to a new level with a broad range of innovations that make life safer and more comfortable for drivers.
Nissan Safety Shield makes its European debut in the Note. Simple in concept yet highly advanced in design and engineering, it consists of a package of technologies applied intelligently to offer tangible real-world benefits. Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and an advanced Moving Object Detection system combine to deliver a new level of assistance to the driver.
The system not only provides enhanced awareness, it also showcases Nissan's design and engineering skills. All three systems take data from a single wide view camera mounted on the back of the car. With all three Safety Shield technologies relying on the tailgate mounted camera, maintaining a clear view from this device is paramount. Nissan engineers have developed the ultimate solution - a built in camera wash and blow dry system which uses a jet of compressed air to dry the lens, demonstrating the depth of innovation applied to the new Note.
Safety Shield offers Nissan Note drivers numerous benefits. Not only does it provide a more secure feel when driving on the road, it allows greater confidence when manoeuvring - safe in the knowledge that the system will support detecting hidden hazards. This significantly reduces the risk of accidental bumps and scrapes that would normally require a visit to the body shop, helping to keep total cost of ownership down.
Another sector first technology appearing on the new Note is Around View Monitor. Nissan's acclaimed multi-camera helicopter view parking aid provides a clear display of the area around the car. This advanced yet simple to use system makes parking manoeuvres easier - further minimising the risk of accidental damage.
The new Note also features the latest evolution of Nissan's advanced Connect navigation system that integrates satellite navigation with Bluetooth, USB and iPod/iPhone connectivity in one simple touchscreen interface. The new system also incorporates GoogleTM 'Send to Car' technology that allows drivers to plot their route before they even get into their car.
And it's not just cutting-edge technology where the new Note stands out from conventional B-segment rivals. Practicality has been designed into every key element of the Note - both inside and out. The rear of the car offers best-in-class levels of legroom, while details such as rear doors that open to almost 90 degrees have been engineered to make life easier for owners with families. The boot also provides best-in-class practicality with a clever Karakuri luggage with IMS kit coming as standard under the trunk floor, a Karakuri board that splits the remaining load area into two additional levels, and a sliding rear bench mechanism which provides an additional 86 litres of luggage space in the trunk.
The new Note is powered by a range of highly efficient engines that combine low running costs with strong performance. Three units will be offered: a 1.2-litre petrol with 80PS, a supercharged 1.2-litre DIG-S with 98PS, and a 90PS 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel. All variants are equipped with an idle stop/start system as standard and record CO2 emissions as low as 95g/km for diesel and 99g/km for petrol. Combined fuel economy figures range from 4.7 l/100km for the 80PS 1.2-litre petrol engine to 3.6 l/100km for the 1.5-litre dCi.
Completing the Note's dynamic package is a chassis that has been created for the unique demands of European roads. Developed by NTCE from very start of the Note project, European models feature bespoke settings for the steering, dampers, springs and anti-roll bar. The result is a car that displays agile and secure handling and a smooth ride.
Geraldine Ingham, Chief Marketing Manager for Nissan in Europe: "New Note fulfils a really important role in our line-up, combining really smart design with technology that has never been offered in the B-segment before. We've used design and engineering innovation to make premium technologies accessible and affordable."
The new Nissan Note brings design flair and excitement to a segment where style has become an essential ingredient for success. To meet the increasingly high demands of consumers in the B-segment, Nissan has created a car that combines elegant, fluid lines with original and bold details.
Inspired by the acclaimed Invitation concept car revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the new Note has an energetic design that is both stylish and functional.
The clean lines of the silhouette hint at the new Note's dynamic potential and showcase the car's class-leading aerodynamics. Unlike versions of the new Note sold in other markets, the European model has a unique front end design as well as premium sculpted wing mirrors incorporating the indicator repeaters.
Built on Nissan's lightweight V platform, the new Note combines a long wheelbase and short overhangs to create a sporty, agile look. The sides of the car are distinguished by a dramatic 'Squash Line' that adds a powerful dynamism to the profile, so called because the angles were inspired by the flight of a fast moving squash ball travelling around a court.
The front combines sculpted surfaces with an interlocking headlamp and grille arrangement. Combined with flared wheel arches and a distinctive, flowing window line, the new Note further reinforces Nissan's position at the leading edge of vehicle design.
The rear further illustrates Nissan's attention to detail. An upswept C-pillar combines with wraparound rear light clusters to create an original and distinctive look. By breaking up larger surfaces with fluidic lines that arch and dip across the tailgate assembly, Nissan has succeeded in creating a car that is both practical and extremely stylish.
Recognising that many B-segment buyers demand an even sportier, dynamic look, Nissan has developed a new Dynamic Styling Pack that offers an even more powerful appearance. The Dynamic Styling Pack features black detailing around the headlights and grille and introduces larger, more sculpted air intakes in the unique front and rear bumpers.
Atsushi Maeda, Product Chief Designer for new Nissan Note explains: "The Design Concept of this car is summarised by two phrases: 'energetic clarity' and 'spacious comfort'. We have designed a completely new hatchback which is dynamic, energetic and sporty while also managing to keep the previous generation Note's practicality and versatility. The aerodynamic silhouette is also an unmistakable key feature of this design."
Intelligent interior packaging has always been a quality associated with the Note. The new version builds on that reputation with more cabin space, a larger boot and even more family-friendly features. It also provides owners with greater comfort, higher equipment levels, new-to-segment technologies and a more sophisticated driving environment.
The dashboard arrangement combines a simple layout with a host of features that are both easy to use and extremely useful on a day-to-day basis. Premium grade materials enhance the feeling of quality, while the optimized layout and intelligent positioning of key controls make the Note a relaxing car to drive.
As owners have come to expect from Nissan, the Note offers incredible attention to detail - often in areas where other manufacturers don't bother. Take, for example, the instrument binnacle.
The Note's display was designed with significant European input to ensure maximum clarity at all times. It delivers a clear view of all standard driving data in addition to two advanced new eco meters.
The eco pedal guide takes the form of a small dial that gives a sliding scale rating based on the position of the throttle pedal. Sudden and heavy inputs result in a low rating, while smaller, smoother inputs sends the dial to high rating level - indicating eco-friendly driving.
The display also features an eco drive indicator. This takes the form of an ambient flowing blue strip that sits above the three main dials in the binnacle and a 5-dots green LED indicator showing eco-drive level (1 green dot for low eco-drive / 3 green dots for average eco-drive / 5 green dots for good eco-drive). The system constantly evaluates efficiency and gives real-time feedback. Drive inefficiently and just the central element is lit. Drive with maximum efficiency and the whole strip is illuminated.
Finally, the display creates an eco score at the end of each drive. Based on driving behaviour throughout the previous journey, it rates the efficiency of the drive on a five star basis. Perfecting the instrument display was a task that required significant time and research by Nissan's design and engineering team. Fonts, lighting levels and density of labels were all analysed and tested to create the optimum display.
The centre console also typifies Nissan's attention to detail. Uncluttered, intuitive and with a feeling of premium quality, it is both easy to use and striking to look at. The circular heating and ventilation controls are arranged in logical fashion around a central temperature and information display, while the infotainment system is set at the perfect height to read on the move. (See Technology section for more information on the Note's infotainment systems)
In-car storage is provided by a host of stowage areas, shelves and compartments that hold and secure gadgets and other necessities of modern life. A double-deck glovebox provides additional storage at the front of the car, and in the top compartment, houses a USB and aux-in socket. Locating both ports here means that owners don't have to clutter their centre console with connecting cables or leave expensive electronic devices on display.
Rear seat space is another area where the Note excels. Not only does it offer more space and features than its B-segment rivals, it eclipses cars in the sectors above. The Note's rear seat practicality is the result of extensive research and innovate packaging design during the car's development.
The Nissan Note design team quickly identified that maximizing knee room was key to delivering a functional, easy-to-live with cabin. High levels of knee room give rear seat passengers higher levels of comfort and make life easier when trying to install and use child seats.
As a result of this space-efficient approach, the Note offers rear seat occupants knee room of 639mm. This not only puts all B-segment offerings in the shade, it also eclipses cars in both the C and D-segment - including leading luxury saloons.
And it's not just overall space that makes the Note the perfect family car. Because a large passenger area is of limited use if you can't easily get to it, Nissan engineered the rear doors to open to nearly 90 degrees. The result? Easy and simple access for passengers, luggage and child seats.
In standard form, the Note has a luggage capacity of 295 litres with the rear seats in position. This is supplemented by an additional 30-liters underfloor storage area. Made with a wipe-clean surface, it allows for valuable or delicate items to be hidden out of sight.
To further maximise the Note's large boot, Nissan has developed a Family Pack that consists of a number of ingenious features. Standard on Tekna and optional on Acenta models, the Family Pack adds a sliding rear seat bench that can be slid fore and aft by up to 160mm. With the bench in its most forward position, the boot capacity grows by another 86-litres - giving an overall seats-up capacity of 411-litres. This makes the Note comfortably more practical than all its B-segment rivals - as well as bettering boxier and less dynamic B-segment MPV models.
Another useful element of the Family Pack is the specially developed Karakuri board. This multi-positional boot board allows owners to divide or open up the load space according to their needs. The two-part board can be arranged in numerous configurations, and helps to support and protect items in transit. Combined with the sliding rear seat bench, the Karakuri board opens up a world of storage and transportation opportunities for Note owners.
Nissan's ongoing drive to bring exciting new technologies to all sectors of the market takes another leap forward with the new Nissan Note. Featuring a raft of sector-first equipment and safety systems, the new Note redefines expectations in the B-segment, and sets new standards for affordability.
Note debuts the Nissan Safety Shield system: a network of three innovative safety features that combine to provide drivers with exceptional visibility and protection. Together with Around View Monitor (AVM), unrivalled vision-enhancing technology is delivered to the small car segment for the first time.
Genuine engineering innovation has allowed Nissan to bring these previously costly systems together in one affordable package. While rival systems employ costly front, rear and even radar systems to perform similar functions, Nissan's program requires only the image captured by the rear wide view AVM camera to operate Safety Shield.
A key component of the Nissan Safety Shield and AVM is the rear-facing camera located on the tailgate. Although parking cameras are now an established technology (Nissan pioneered their use on the 2002 Primera), the device fitted to the Note has a few special tricks up its sleeve. As all three Safety Shield systems rely on accurate information to be delivered by the camera, the lens must be kept spotless at all times - no easy feat on a device so exposed to the elements. To eliminate the problem of a dirty lens, Nissan engineers developed the world's first fully automatic, intelligent 'wash and blow dry' system.
Using advanced image processing software which processes more than 15 million pixels per second, the system detects when the lens is obscured and then sends a jet of water to wash away the dirt. To eliminate the problem of the wet lens attracting more dirt, a shot of compressed air is fired over its surface. This dries the lens and ensures that the cameras can continue to display clear images on the 5.8-inch Nissan Connect screen. What's more, the system automatically determines the best cleaning method, for example only using a jet of air to remove a spec of dust or a drip of water to dislodge rain drops.
A feature once reserved for cars in the premium sector, Nissan's system uses the rear wide view AVM camera to detect vehicles in the hidden blind spot areas on both sides of the Note. If a vehicle is detected in either blind spot, a discreet warning light illuminates in the glass of the Note's wing mirror. If the driver indicates to change lanes and the system detects a vehicle in the danger area, the light flashes and an audible warning is given.
Another premium feature making its debut in the B-segment, Lane Departure Warning detects if the car is starting to drift out of lane. While you might expect a windscreen mounted camera or radar system to be required for this function, the Note again uses only its rear wide view AVM camera. Advanced computer programming detects even faint road markings allowing the car to determine if it is drifting out of position without indicating. If it does, a warning is given to the driver to correct their road position. Cleverly, the system automatically adjusts its sensitivity when on rural roads to allow for the different required driving style.
Building on the capabilities of Around View Monitor, this new function effectively gives the driver a digital co-pilot to help them look at what might be approaching the path of their reversing Note. While conventional parking aids warn the driver of an object in their way, Moving Object Detection gives an audible and visual alert if someone or something is moving behind the car, for example if a child is walking towards your reversing Note. Mounted on the tailgate and having a convex lens, the rear wide view AVM camera has a sweep of vision in excess of 180 degrees, giving it an unparalleled field of vision at the back of the car. Images from the camera are displayed on the 5.8-inch Nissan Connect screen.
In addition to using the multi-functional rear camera, Moving Object Detection can also read in additional data from the Around View Monitor's side and front cameras to build a complete 360 degree picture warning of hidden moving objects on sides or in front of the vehicle.
Drivers wishing to personalize the settings of the Nissan Safety Shield can do so either through a dashboard mounted button or through the Connect system. The dashboard switch offers an 'all-on' or 'all-off' convenience function, but if, for example, the driver wants to switch off only the Lane Departure Warning function, this can be done via an easy-to-access touch screen menu. Any settings customized by the driver through the Nissan Connect menu are then remembered by the system for future journeys.
Cleverly integrated in the Safety Shield system is another Nissan technology making its first appearance in the B-segment - the Around View Monitor (AVM). This acclaimed system takes the stress out of reversing and parallel parking, and has already proved very popular with Qashqai drivers.
Combining the feeds from small cameras mounted on the front grille, tailgate and both door mirrors, the system projects an overhead 360 degree 'helicopter view' of the area around the Note onto the 5.8-inch Connect satellite navigation and infotainment screen.
The 360 degree overhead view gives the driver a clear indication of obstacles around the car, helping to visually confirm the Nissan Note's position in relation to the surrounding area and making manoeuvres significantly easier and safer.
The system switches on automatically when the car is placed in reverse or, while driving up to 10km/h, by pressing the "camera" button on the dashboard. It switches off once the car has reached a set speed.
If preferred, the feed from each camera can be displayed individually in a larger size and the system can operate as a simple reversing camera that incorporates course lines on the screen to guide the driver to the correct path into the chosen parking spot.
Both AVM and Nissan Safety Shield are incorporated into the new Note's enhanced Connect satellite navigation, Bluetooth and audio system. The system benefits from a larger 5.8-inch touch-screen display, and includes GoogleTM 'Send to Car' navigation software. This clever addition allows routes planned at home to be transferred directly to the car. Additional connected services include GoogleTM Points of Interest (POI), nearest fuel prices, plus flight and weather information.
As befits a car that brings exciting new technologies to the sector, the new Note's engine and gearbox range is packed with clever features that enhance both efficiency and drivability.
Three engine options will be offered, with CO2 outputs from as low as 95g/km. Nissan's intelligent stop-start ignition system is fitted to all models, further boosting efficiency and minimising emissions.
Both new Note petrol engines displace 1,198cc and are lightweight, compact and highly efficient three-cylinder 12-valve units. The imbalances that can often be highlighted in a three-cylinder engine have been overcome with the introduction of a number of engineering innovations. These include an offset counterweight on the crank pulley that cancels out the vertical vibration caused by piston travel. As a result, this advanced engine enjoys the same refinement levels of a four-cylinder unit. Both petrol engines are equipped with idle stop-start systems as standard.
The entry-level 1.2-litre produces power and torque figures of 80PS at 6,000 rpm and 110Nm at 4,000 rpm. This translates to combined fuel economy of 4.7 l/100km, while CO2 emissions are 109g/km.
Further up the range is the innovative 1.2-litre DIG-S engine that generates 98PS at 5,600 rpm and 147Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. This advanced engine offers the economy of a traditional diesel, but delivers a driving experience normally associated with a mid-size, four-cylinder petrol engine. Among the many technical highlights of this engine is the supercharger. Equipped with an electronic clutch system, it can be disconnected from the engine while driving at low speeds - boosting economy and reducing any unnecessary friction within the engine.
To further reduce inefficient power loss within the engine operating system the Miller Cycle is incorporated. By allowing the inlet valve to stay open longer, along with a higher compression ratio, the compression stroke becomes more efficient.
Combined, these innovations make the 1.2-litre DIG-S one of the most efficient and flexible engines in the sector. Despite its strong performance, CO2 emissions are just 99g/km with the manual gearbox (119g/km with CVT transmission). Fuel consumption is 4.3 l/100km (with manual transmission) on the combined cycle.
Completing the Note engine range is a four-cylinder 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel. This 90PS Renault-Nissan Alliance-developed unit emits just 95g/km of CO2 and offers a combined fuel economy figure of 3.6 l/100km. Tuned specifically for the Note, it features a number of engineering improvements over previous versions of the 1.5-litre dCi and is smoother, quieter, cleaner and more efficient.
Like all Note engines, the 1.5-litre dCi engine is equipped with an Idle Stop-Start system (ISS) as standard. Thanks to a complete re-engineering of the starting system, the new Note restarts just 0.5 seconds after the clutch pedal is touched. Extensive work has gone into reducing noise and vibration during the process, with the result being a smooth and unobtrusive start-up.
The logic system that controls the restart procedure has been fine-tuned using feedback from European test drives. If the driver applies a significant amount of steering lock while idling (at a junction, for example), the ISS restarts the engine - anticipating the application of throttle.
Nissan has also engineered the Nissan Note's ISS system to be as safe and easy to use as possible. For example, if the driver removes his/her seatbelt or opens the driver's door, the ISS system is deactivated. This prevents a situation where a child gets into the driver's seat and starts the engine by pressing on the clutch pedal. Manual and CVT transmissions have different ISS settings to reflect the different requirements of the driver. On cars fitted with CVT, the ISS remains active even if the driver removes his/her seatbelt. This is particularly useful in situations, such as toll booths, where the driver needs to reach across the car.
The new Note is available with two advanced transmission options: a five-speed manual and an optional CVT automatic for the 1.2-litre DIG-S engine.
The five-speed manual has been engineered at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) and specifically developed for European roads. Every aspect of the gearbox has been tuned for the European market, with particular emphasis placed on ratios and the quality of the shift. Low friction cables and pendulum mass damping deliver the kind of smooth and precise shift actions demanded by European drivers.
In addition to the five-speed manual gearbox, buyers choosing the 1.2-litre DIG-S model can also specify an advanced CVT automatic. In keeping with the rest of the Note, it features a number of new technologies, including a sub-planetary gear system that helps deliver seamless acceleration and allows the use of smaller pulleys. This puts a greater distance between the pulleys and the oil surface in the transmission, which, in turn, results in a reduction in the amount of oil 'stirred' by moving parts. The end result is less friction and even greater efficiency.
The new Note has been extensively developed in Europe to offer the best possible driving experience. Chassis engineers at NTCE began work on the European-specification Note as early as 2011, fine-tuning the set-up throughout the design and engineering process. As a result, the new Note has unique steering, suspension and chassis settings to deliver the perfect blend of comfort, traction and handling for European roads.
At the heart of the new Note lies the highly advanced Nissan V platform. Combining strength and lightness, it has been engineered to deliver optimum rigidity for excellent handling characteristics and a smooth, refined ride.
In terms of suspension design, the new Note features MacPherson struts with coil springs at the front and a compact torsion beam axle at the rear. The torsion beam has been designed in such a way that intrusion into the luggage area is minimised.
Both suspension systems are mounted on sub frames to help isolate road noise, vibration and harshness, with an anti-roll bar at either end to further enhance the driving experience. The Note's generous suspension travel also pays dividends when it comes to ride quality. With exceptional bump absorption, the new Note rides smoothly over even the most challenging of road surfaces.
The advantages delivered by the new platform are numerous. In addition to the obvious gains in size, the increased rigidity means that the suspension can work more efficiently. This, in turn, delivers more accurate steering with greater feel and precision. Dive and pitch under braking and acceleration have also been greatly reduced with the new platform.
Electric power steering is standard on all models, and helps provide the new Nissan Note with a turning circle of just 10.7m for the ultimate manoeuvrability in city streets.
Nissan knows that when it comes to developing a chassis system, different engines often require different set-ups. The 1.2-litre DIG-S model, therefore, has a bespoke chassis that helps deliver a, more engaging driving experience. Spring and damper rates, steering and anti-roll bar stiffness have been set to perfectly suit the character of the advanced three-cylinder engine, perfectly optimising its driving performance.
The new Note will launch with three trim grades - Visia, Acenta and Tekna. Equipment levels reflect Nissan's commitment to offering high levels of technology to all customers. As a result, all models will feature stop-start ignition systems, six airbags and cruise control with a speed limiter.
Mid-spec Acenta models add air-conditioning, Bluetooth connection, electric windows, driver's seat height adjustment and body-coloured door mirrors and handles. Acenta models come with the option of Nissan's enhanced Connect touch screen navigation and communication system, AVM and Safety Shield and the Dynamic Styling Pack.
Customers choosing their Note in Acenta trim can also specify a Family Pack as an option. This consists of rear privacy glass, rear centre headrest, rear centre armrest, driver's armrest, seatback tables, sliding rear bench and multi-positional Karakuri boot board
Another option pack available to Acenta customers is an Auto Pack. This comprises front fog lights, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers and auto-climate control air-conditioning.
Top grade Tekna models feature the Nissan Safety Shield pack, Nissan Connect, Around View Monitor, part leather trim and keyless entry with i-key as standard. 16-inch alloy wheels, Family Pack, Auto Pack and front fog lights are also included while a glass sunroof and the Dynamic Styling Pack are available as options for Tekna customers.
Paul Willcox, Senior Vice President for Nissan Sales and Marketing in Europe concludes: "The new Note isn't just a direct replacement for current Note, it's a completely different car with a completely different place in the market. Sitting at the very heart of the B-segment, the new Note takes on high volume competitors with great design and premium technology in an accessible package. We're really excited to be expanding our small car range with such an attractive and advanced new hatchback."
Production of the new Nissan Note starts in the summer of 2013, with first deliveries scheduled for autumn 2013 depending on specific markets.